Ditch the Diets and Cut The BullS**t!

“Hey! So what diet are you on?” Now there’s a question that gets thrown around a lot in friendship circles. I’m just as guilty. What’s your “eating style”? That’s what I would call it. You know, instead of “diet”, because it sounded better…But who am I fooling. Really what I wanted to know was how my food choices stacked up to yours. It’s a game. And not one that any of us should be playing! Well I quit. I’ve recently come to some BIG realizations about diet culture, and I’ve decided to forfeit the whole damn thing. I’m out.

I started my dieting career as a Vegetarian just as I graduated High School. I didn’t have the pressures of school to keep me on track with staying thin, so I needed to try something else. I was clueless as to animal rights issues or environmental  reasons to give up meat. What drew me in was the possibility of weight loss! Weren’t vegetarians all skinny?? It turns out they aren’t… When I didn’t get the results I’d hoped for, and in fact gained weight steadily over time, I decided to try Veganism, maybe that would be the trick! Nope….that wasn’t enough, I still wasn’t perfect, I still wasn’t skinny. How about Raw?! That must be it. Uncook your way to fat loss? Sure, why not! Hmmm, too hard to maintain, it’s back to Vegetarian! By then I sort of lost my belief in the whole don’t eat meat get skinny thing, so I decided to add in some fish and became Pescatarian. Eventually I found Paleo, then Low Carb Paleo, and finally Keto. Maybe, just maybe, if I cut every last freakin’ carb out of my diet I would finally have it all! Yeah….not quite.

Behind ALL of these diets was the desire to lose the weight, be effortlessly thin, finally love my body, be happy. But what I told myself initially was that it was for “health”, the environment , overall “wellness”, cleansing, detoxing, etc. Weight loss would just be a pleasant side effect, not a focus. Bull SHIT. I call total bull shit on myself. Everything I have ever done to change my diet was done to lose weight. EVERYTHING. I can 100% admit that now. I never found body acceptance and love through dieting, I found it by not dieting! At first I was mortified at this realization. I’ve built my career around nutrition and wellness! Have I steered people wrong? I wondered, is my weight loss bias sneaking into everything I have put out to clients and programs? What have I done? I don’t want to contribute to this madness anymore. I don’t want to go round and round this crazy diet cycle anymore. I want OFF! And I especially don’t want other women to go through the same thing over and over and over again, for their entire lives! So this is it, this is my chance to be the change. I have influence. I have dozens and dozens of people who I can reach and help. Instead of running and hiding in shame, I’m going to run head on into this diet culture madness and help women see the truth! Dieting doesn’t work! Labels don’t work. “Eating Styles” are bull shit.

So now what?

Now, now I’m just ME. Krista Boulding, Nutrition Coach, eating food. I eat what my body feels good eating, I eat what it asks for. And as far as the coaching goes, I will continue to help women see how consuming a diet rich in whole foods is good, but that NO diet, NO strict protocol, will ever be the answer to their weight loss goals. In fact, trying to lose weight is a sure fire way to gain weight. Yes, you read that correctly. About 2-5% of people who attempt to lose weight, actually have success with it. The rest of us (aka the majority) will either not lose at all, or lose and then gain it back. In fact, about 1/3 of the people will gain all the weight back and end up right back at ground zero, while the other 2/3’s gain even more weight back, ending up heavier than they were before! And the thing is, those “success” people, that tiny percentage who managed to control their weight and keep it off, they don’t just “manage” their weight, they micro manage the living hell out of it!! To the degree where their entire lives are built around maintaining that weight. Sound like fun? No, I didn’t think so…

So I’m not selling weight loss anymore. Not under the guise of “wellness” or “health”, not in any shape or form. If you strictly want weight loss, find another coach. If you want to be truly WELL, to love the body you’re in, to stop the bull shit, stop the dieting, and just love your life, that’s where I can help! Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to shed some pounds. Whether it’s for aesthetic reasons or for health, it’s natural for us to desire this. But we need to recognize is that 1) weight loss does not equal health gain, 2) weight loss does not equal happiness, 3) weight loss does not mean you will suddenly love yourself, and 4) weight loss cannot happen sustainably through restriction. I can help you understand and accept these principles with my 28 Day Wellness Bootcamp or my private coaching sessions. Let’s work together to become healthier, happier, and truly WELL!

Yours, In WELLNESS ~ Krista

Macronutrient Low Down

As a follow up to my Calories blog, I’d like to discuss macronutrients. Macros are simply the categories our food falls into: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. There is no question that we need all three, it’s just a matter of how much, and where we get them from. I believe there’s value in having an understanding of the macro balance needed for certain goals and activity levels, and also to fix potential deficiencies or excesses. But similar to calories, it’s not something we absolutely NEED to track obsessively in order to lose weight or gain health. It becomes more necessary to keep things on point if you’re a serious athlete training for a competition, or have an illness that requires specific amounts of each nutrient. But for the average person, having a general idea is all that is required. Similar to the calorie counting idea, I believe it’s a good idea to get a sense of what you’re consuming by tracking things for about a week, correcting any imbalances necessary, and then using that knowledge to make your food choices. My advice would be to write down what you’re eating and how much, then plug it into an app such as MyFitnessPal to get your results. So that being said, how much do we need?

Speaking very generally here, if you’re pretty active and/or wanting to lose some fat, your protein should be on the higher end. Some experts advocate to consume the same amount of protein in grams as your ideal body weight. So if you would like to weigh 140 lbs, eat about 140 gm of protein per day. That might seem pretty high to most people. It may actually  be difficult for females to consume that much, unless you’re taking in protein powders all the time (which I personally don’t recommend). Protein is very satiating, so I do recommend eating it with every meal to help regulate your appetite. I would say your upper limit would be your ideal body weight in grams as stated above, and your low end be no less than half that.

Carbs and fats need to fluctuate depending on your personal goals, your lifestyle, your stress levels, your exercise program, etc. There is NO right answer here. Carbs can go anywhere from 50 – 200+gm, and fats typically from 25 – 100+gm. Think of your macros like a teeter totter. The protein is in the middle, always staying consistent, while the fats and carbs are on either end in constant flux, trying to balance each other out. Typically if your carb intake is higher, your fats should be low, and vice versa. It’s extremely important to remember that everyone is so different and requires such a varying amount in order to feel healthy and happy. Now of course this is not an exact science, it’s just giving you a rough estimate. Remember to listen to your body and use that as feedback. One day you may need more carbs because you had an active day, the next you may need less. The one thing I would advise is to not eat the SAME things in the SAME amounts day in and day out. Our bodies are designed to handle variety.

All that being said, numbers mean nothing to most people. We need a visual. I don’t know about you, but the thought of weighing and measuring every piece of food on my plate makes me crazy! One very “handy” way to ensure you’re getting the appropriate amount of foods is to use your own hand. Your palm size and thickness is perfect for protein, your fist is great for a dense source of carbs such as potatoes or rice, and your thumb is good for measuring fats and oils. Non starchy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, etc should be limitless as far as I’m concerned. So when putting food on your plate have a look at your hand to get a rough estimate. Decide first if this meal is higher in carbs or higher in fat. Keep the protein and non starchy veggies the same, then choose either a fist of starchy carbs, or a couple thumbs of fat. Simple!

While macros can be good to track for certain goals, or to look for imbalances, don’t lose sight of your food quality and end up eating things just because they “fit your macros”. You see this in social media quite often. People post pics of donuts, pizza, chips, ice cream, etc because it fits their macro allowance for the day. They compromise elsewhere and skimp on meals so they can still adhere to their macro allowance and eat junk food. THIS IS NOT A HEALTHY PRACTICE.

Macros are only one component of our food. We must not forget the importance of micros as well. Micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals. If you eat to balance just your macros, you will most likely fall short in some essential nutrients. So when building your plate, remember to base it on colourful nutrient dense vegetables, high quality meats and healthy fats. The bottom line is that we don’t just eat protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. We eat FOOD. And that food should be in it’s most whole form possible, it should not be obsessively counted to the exact gram, and it should be eaten with your health in mind.

If you still find this all very confusing, or would like more insight in how to tailor a diet to meet your individual needs, have a look at my nutrition services and I’d be happy to help!